10 Best Trade Schools inLakeland, FL

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If you live in Lakeland and you want to start a rewarding career without spending four years in college, this page is for you.

Here we have compiled information about the top training programs available in the region.

If you want to earn a diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree in cosmetology, welding, medical assisting, or another field we invite you to read our selection.

Programs included here combine classroom work with hands-on training and focus on equipping students with the skills needed for immediate employment.

1Florida Technical College

About the School

Florida Technical College offers training programs in business, construction trades, healthcare, and information technology.

On February 1st, Florida Technical College became an academic unit of NUC University, a university accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The college offers diploma programs that can be completed in 9-12 months and Bachelor’s Degree programs that are 36 months long.

Tuition is between $13,950-19,200 for diploma programs.

Tuition for Bachelor’s Degree programs is approximately $53,000-$54,000.

To be eligible for admission, applicants must:

  • Be a high school graduate, have a GED, or equivalent
  • Be at least 18 years of age if they apply for a program that includes an externship

Additional requirements apply to some of the programs.

Courses Offered

The following programs are available:

  • Business-Entrepreneurship, Management, and Marketing- Bachelor’s Degree
  • Business Office Specialist- Diploma
  • Electrical-Diploma
  • Electrical with Programmable Logic Controller-Diploma
  • Medical Assistant Technician- Diploma
  • Medical Assistant Technician with Emphasis in Basic X-Ray- Diploma
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist- Diploma
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Allied Health Management
  • Information Technology with Emphasis in Cybersecurity- Bachelor’s Degree

Contact Information

2Integra Health Nursing Prep Institute

About the School

Integra Health Nursing Prep Institute offers a variety of training programs for students who want to start a career in healthcare.

The school offers hybrid and fast-track programs that equip students with theoretical and practical skills.

Online courses that can be completed in only a few weeks are also available.

Tuition costs vary depending on the program.

The BLS CPR course is $60 while the CNA Prep Class is $330.

The school’s instructors have more than 10 years of clinical experience.

The classes are kept small.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available:

  • CNA Prep – a program that prepares students for the certification exam and careers in nursing homes, care centers, doctor offices, hospices, assisted living facilities, and a variety of other settings
  • Phlebotomy

The school also offers online courses on the following topics:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business and Leadership
  • Career and Hospitality
  • Education and Personal Development
  • Information Security
  • Industrial and Skilled Trades: Certified Maintenance and Reliability Technician and HVACR Technician Career Prep
  • And more

Contact Information

3Artistic Nails & Beauty Academy

About the School

Artistic Nails & Beauty Academy helps students who want to start a career in the beauty industry.

A variety of programs are available at the school’s Lakeland and Florida campuses.

Artistic Nails & Beauty Academy is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences.

Costs vary depending on the program and its duration.

The 600-hour Restricted Barber program costs approximately $10,400 while the Spa Therapist program costs approximately $15,000.

Costs include tuition, lab fees, kits, books, and registration fees.

The school enrolls students who are at least 16 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available:

  • Cosmetology- a program that takes 10-14 months to complete and includes 1,200 hours of training
  • Barbering- a 1,200 program that takes between 10-14 months to complete
  • Skin Care- a 9-15 weeks program that includes 300 hours of training
  • Full Specialist- a program for students who want to get a license in skincare and nails.
  • Nail Tech- a program that takes between 8 and a half and 15 weeks to complete.
  • Massage- students graduate from this program in 4-7 months, depending on the schedule

Contact Information

4Empire Beauty Schools

About the School

Empire Beauty Schools provides training programs for students who want to become licensed cosmetologists.

The programs available at Empire Beauty Schools combine know-how and hands-on training covering fundamentals and advanced techniques on the topics that will help students succeed in the beauty industry.

To be eligible for admission, students need:

  • A copy of a valid photo ID
  • A copy of a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Complete a career planning interview
  • Pay an application fee
  • Complete an enrollment package

Empire Beauty Schools are accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for students who qualify.

Courses Offered

The school provides a 1,200-hour Cosmetology program.

The curriculum covers topics on:

  • Hair Design
  • Hair Cutting
  • Color & Texture
  • Basic Skin Care
  • Business/Retail Training

The program teaches students how to:

  • Use the latest hair cutting, coloring, and design trends for women, men, and children
  • Master hair texture concepts
  • Provide nail services, including manicures and pedicures
  • Perform esthetic skin care procedures
  • Develop marketing and communication skills

Contact Information

5Central CNA

About the School

Central CNA is offering classes that prepare students for the certification exam in only three days.

Tuition for this program is $339 with books and reviews included.

According to the school’s website, Central CNA students have a pass rate of 99 percent.

Those who want to become Certified Nursing Assistants in Florida have to undergo the following process:

  • Step 1: Register for class
  • Step 2: Pay a $155 licensing fee during the last day of class
  • Step 3: After the application is processed, applicants have to pay $80-$90 for the FBI fingerprinting process
  • Step 4: After being fingerprinted, applicants are ready to take the state test

No high school diploma or GED is required to take the CNA licensing exam in the state of Florida if the applicants are over 18 years of age.

Candidates who are between 16 and 18 years of age need a high school diploma or GED.

Students are required to wear socks and closed-toed shoes during class.

The school assists students during the licensing process, which takes approximately one month.

Contact Information

6Southern Technical College

About the School

Southern Technical College provides educational programs that prepare students for successful careers in a variety of industries.

Before admission, prospective students need to complete an interview with a Southern Technical College Admission Representative and submit a completed enrollment agreement.

To be eligible for admission, applicants need proof of high school graduation or GED equivalent.

The Auburndale campus of Southern Technical College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges to award associate’s degrees and diplomas.

Total program costs at Southern Technical College are between $17,995-$18,250 for diploma programs and $32,130 for the Associate of Applied Science Degree Program.

Students receive a set of required materials and textbooks at no additional cost.

Financial assistance options are available for students who qualify.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available at the Auburndale campus:

  • Welding Technology- Associate of Applied Science Degree

The following diploma programs are also offered:

  • HVAC
  • Medical Assisting
  • Veterinary Assisting

The diploma programs are 10-months-long, while the Associate of Applied Science program is designed to be completed in 18 months.

Contact Information

7Polk State College

About the School

Polk State College is offering an aerospace program that prepares students for a career in the field.

To qualify for admission students need a high school diploma or GED.

Students may enroll during any term.

Grants, loans, and a variety of other financing options are available for students who qualify.

Polk State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate’s degree and baccalaureate degrees.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available at the college:

  • Aerospace Administration- AS
  • Aerospace Sciences (Aerospace Administration), BS
  • Aerospace Science (Professional Pilot), BS
  • Aviation Maintenance Administration, AS
  • Professional Pilot Science, AS

A non-degree Certification program is also available for those who want to start a career as an Aircraft Dispatcher.

The Aircraft Dispatcher Certificate program offers an accelerated path towards a career as an FAA Aircraft Dispatcher.

The program includes 200 hours of instruction offered in-person and in a hybrid format.

The hybrid class combines an eight-week-long online class with an accelerated format of daily meetings over three weeks at the Lakeland-Linder International Airport in Lakeland.

Contact Information

  • Address: 3425 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, Florida 33803
  • Phone: (863) 297-1000
  • Website: https://www.polk.edu

8Career Tech

About the School

Career Tech is a vocational school that offers technical education classes.

The school offers programs that cover business and logistics topics.

Class size is approximately six students, on average, which allows each student the opportunity of getting the attention they need.

Career Tech is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education.

Courses Offered

The following courses are available:

  • Commercial Truck Driving Training (Class A only) – a 160-hour certificate program that can be completed in four weeks.
  • Advanced Truck Driving Training (Class A only)- a 320-hour certificate program that is usually completed in 10 weeks.

The Commercial Truck Driver training program is fast-paced and designed for quick learners and for those who have prior experience in driving combination vehicles.

This program combines four courses of classroom lectures, safety theory, yard skills, vehicle inspection, and hands-on training.

The Advanced program is slower-paced and goes into greater detail than the CDL program.

The Advanced Truck Driver program follows a curriculum based on the FHWA Model Curriculum and follows the curriculum standards set by the Professional Truck Driver Institute.

Contact Information

9Koe Barber Academy

About the School

Koe Barber Academy offers intensive barbering and cosmetology training programs.

Tuition varies depending on the program.

The Restricted Barber program costs $5,325 including registration fee, tuition, books and supplies, and license.

The Cosmetology program costs $5,878.

Applicants need a high school diploma and they have to be over 16 years of age.

Those who don’t have a high school diploma must pass the Wonderlic Ability to Benefit Test administered by an independent agency.

Applicants who take the test need a score of more than 200 on verbal and 215 on the quantitative part.

To qualify for graduation and be certified by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, students must complete 1,200 hours of training.

The school has a 30:1 student to instructor ratio.

The ratio is 20:1 for the clinical training.

Courses Offered

The Restricted Barber program includes 1,200 hours of intensive training that covers theory and hands-on training.

The Cosmetology program covers topics on:

  • Hair Styling
  • Hair Coloring
  • Scalp Treatment and Hair Care Rinses
  • Hair Removal
  • Manicure, Pedicure, and Nail Extensions
  • Florida Laws
  • Sanitation and Sterilization
  • And more

Contact Information

10International Aero Academy

About the School

International Aero Academy is a qualified FAA-certified 141 flight school.

The school offers up to 100 percent tuition financing.

In 2018 the school became a factory-authorized service center for Tecnam aircraft and a factory pilot training center.

The school is managed by former senior executives of major, international, regional, charter, and cargo airlines.

The school has a 90 percent first-time pass rate for FAA check rides.

With a hangar of over 12,000 square feet, the school has a diverse fleet of Cessna and Piper aircraft equipped with Garmin 430 and 530 GPS units, and G1000 aircraft equipped aircraft used in advanced glass cockpit training.

Students have to make a $1,000 deposit to reserve a training time slot.

Courses Offered

The following ratings are available:

  • Commercial Pilot- a program that helps students earn their commercial multi-engine rating in as few as six months.
  • Private Pilot Training- an accelerated intensive private pilot course that helps students achieve their private pilot license in 2-3 weeks.
  • Instrument Rating- the school combines aircraft training with state-of-the-art FAA-approved simulators.

Contact Information

Salary Information for Popular Trade Careers

CareerEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Paralegals and Legal Assistants560$50,060$24.07$64,700$35,090
Medical Records Specialists350$49,420$23.76$75,340$30,390
Nursing Assistants2,360$31,790$15.29$36,880$25,730
Dental Assistants510$41,610$20$48,590$34,500
Medical Assistants1,670$35,500$17.07$41,400$30,760
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters630$46,620$22.41$59,750$31,620
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics1,590$46,620$22.41$71,110$28,220
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers820$48,030$23.09$63,700$35,870
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL metropolitan statistical area, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read our list, it’s your turn to continue the research and apply to the program that best meets your career aspirations, budget, and needs.

Before applying, make sure you gather information about all the factors that are relevant to your choice, including tuition costs, accreditation, and more.

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